Scrutiny of Bills

The Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee examines all Bills presented to the Parliament and publishes its findings in a report called the Alert Digest.

The Terms of Reference of the Committee contain principles of scrutiny that enable it to operate in the best traditions of non-partisan legislative scrutiny. These traditions have developed since the first Australian scrutiny of bills committee of the Australian Senate commenced scrutiny of bills in 1981. They are precedents and traditions followed by all Australian scrutiny committees.

The Committee does not make comments on the policy aspects of legislation. Non-policy scrutiny principles within its terms of reference allow the Committee to alert the Parliament to the use of certain legislative practices and allows the Parliament to consider whether the use of these practices is necessary, appropriate or desirable in all the circumstances.

The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 provides that the Committee must consider any Bill introduced into Parliament and must report to the Parliament whether the Bill is incompatible with Human Rights.

Where the Committee seeks further information concerning a bill from a Minister or member, it will include any correspondence on the bill in a subsequent (Alert Digest) report to Parliament.

To see which Bills are currently before the Committee please note the following links

  • Bills this week lists all Bills Parliament is working on during a sitting week
  • Bills Status List provides the status of all bills introduced into the Parliament during the year

Alert Digest reports prior to the 57th Parliament are available through the Publications Archive.